Thank you petrol price for my gift!

Mother’s Day in South Africa this year is going to be on the 13 May 2012 and as I have been walking through the shops, I have noticed the amount of things that are being sold and the price tags attached to them! Some of the things I have seen are day-light robbery and some of the gifts have made me think that they were created by a zombie from out of space!

With the petrol price just having gone up, I am sure that there are many people and families out there feeling the crunch. While the amount might seem small, when you fill up a tank, you will feel the difference and even more so if you have a long distance to travel to work. So this got me to thinking that maybe there are a few guys or girls out there that would like to know ways to give a gift that will make the Mother getting it, feel special and not cost an arm and a leg!

  • Handwrite a letter to the Mom and tell them how you feel about them. This will mean more than any card you could ever buy. Write on some decent paper and put it in an envelope and address it to the person.
  • Buy a reasonably priced box of chocolates, some nice ribbon and ask the florist or flower seller for a loose flower or pick one from your garden. Wrap the chocolates in newspaper from the classified section and tie the ribbon around the package ending it off with a nice bow. Stick the flower into the space behind the bow and you will have a fabulous present.
  • Get a key ring that holds pictures from the discount shops like The Crazy Store and get a photograph that the Mom loves and print it. Stick it into the space provided in the key ring and voila you have a wonderful gift that they can take everywhere with them! If you have a bit more to spend, do the same with a nice photo frame and wrap it up nicely.

  • Dads, the best gift to give your wife is to let her have a sleep-in, get the kids to help you make breakfast, clean the kitchen and take it to her in bed at a reasonable time. Once she has had breakfast, run her a bath, provide her with a magazine, some coffee and if she likes doing her nails, new bottles of nail polish. Most importantly, leave her there until she feels like coming out! This may mean that you are in charge of the fort but I am sure that you are more than capable of doing so.
  • Most women have a thing for chocolate so buy a chocolate muffin mix and some cake decorating things that you will find in the baking section of the supermarket. It doesn’t have to be an expensive muffin mix but read what ingredients you will need at the back before leaving the shop. Bake her some muffins and decorate them to look cute! You don’t have to make chocolate muffins, if she loves blueberry, make that instead! Get a cute coffee mug and give them to her together so that she can use the cup and think of it whenever she uses it, she will think of it
  • If the Mom is a high maintenance type of person, get her a voucher for a spa treatment from Groupon and save yourself some money that way!

All in all the day doesn’t go about expensive gifts and luxury items, despite what all the ads tell you! You can make the perfect gift! If you aren’t sure, drop me an email via our website at and I will send you some more ideas!

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Smile and wave boys, smile and wave!


Education is very important to me and Bella and I have been playing fun learning games since she was an infant. Now please don’t think I am like Amy Chua in the Battle Hymns of a Tiger Mother but we would play games that looked silly to other people but that indirectly she would learn from. A perfect example is when she was 2 or 3 months old, I hung different coloured ribbons in the tree in front of our house. On warm days, I would put a blanket under the tree and Bella and I would lie on the blanket and watch the ribbons move in the wind. Another thing we would do is I would put her in her chair while I hung up washing and she would giggle at the washing and when the wind blew, giggle harder at the clothes moving. I found out later that this all apparently helps with eye movements.

I also don’t have a problem with messing, there have been many times when I have been covered in porridge or water or bits of food but this has never bothered me! She has learnt to water the plants and drink tea and many other little things that she might not have had I been fussy about it.

This new development phase she is going through is driving me a little insane and I know that it is very important but when you are a working mom, time is important and this new phase often ends up in a little bit of a fight. Bella is at the stage where she would like to “dress” herself. Now I  understand that it is important for her to learn to do this but when it takes up to 10 minutes to put her top on in the morning, this can create a problem as it takes up our play time. I always pack Bella’s school bag the night before and have gotten into the habit of packing her clothes out for the next day so that I don’t have to still figure out what she is going to wear and I can give her more attention.  How do you teach a child to dress herself?  I have resorted to taking my top off to show her how to put her head in the hole but she thinks it’s a big game and laughs at me! Dressing is a game to her now! One can’t draw her a picture as she would not understand either! I suppose its time to go onto the trusted old Google and see if there are any tips out there. Patience will just have to become another virtue in the dressing game!


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I’m bringin Sexy Back!









Some mornings I walk past a gym on my way to work and can see all the ladies in their tight tights doing the treadmill or having their bodies shaken on the Power Plate machine. They don’t even seem to be breaking a sweat but have that look of utter determination on their faces that screams “just one more calorie”. My body goes automatically into Suck in Tummy mode and I start thinking of the Baby Weight that I still carry from having Bella.

As a working mom I find it quite hard to get the time to go to the gym or work out. My mornings consist of getting Bella ready for school, getting myself ready for work, dropping her off at school and then my working day begins. In the afternoons, I pick her up from school, spend time with her, get her fed, bathed and ready for bed and my husband and I take turns putting her to bed. At the end of the day I am quite exhausted especially as Bella still doesn’t sleep through the night. Winter has also started to play havoc with getting washing done and all the little things that we need to do to keep the household running.

My downfall

So what is a girl to do? I can’t add Winter Weight to the whole scenario on top of the Baby weight or I will end up looking like a Teletubby! So I have started to devise a plan on keeping off the Winter Weight and working on that Baby Weight as well. So far I have lost 2kg but that hot chocolate keeps calling and encouraging me to drink it and general diets are like a challenge to me to eat everything wrong! Here are the things I am trying:

  1. Drinking a litre of water every day (well  most days)
  2. Staying away from bread
  3. Eating a green banana every moring (The Carb Diet says that it increases your metabolism by 10% if you get a green banana and 4% if you eat a ripe one)
  4. Limiting the amount of full cream milk that I drink
  5. Going from two sugars in my coffee to one
  6. Lays Chips are to stay in the shop and not to be bought
  7. If I see Coco-Cola I imagine with every sip that I am drinking a cup of sugar and this puts me off it
  8. When at my desk, jiggle my legs 100 times to get the blood circulating and those calories burning
  9. I drink apple cider vinegar to increase my metabolism
  10. Take –aways are the Enemy and should only be used in dire circumstances
  11. If I go to a coffees shop and they give a biscuit with the coffee, before I reach for it I think of my tummy!
  12. I play music for Bella like Dynamite by Tao Cruiz and I dance like a mad person to burn a few extra calories

I do understand that I need to do more exercises and would looooove to go to my old Zumba classes but time does not allow it. I have therefore devised a plan to get the Wii dance game and I am going to start shaking my booty to get rid of the Baby Weight while listening to some good music.

One day I will be one of those ladies in the gyms again, but for now, I’m going to find ways to make myself happy in the comfort of my own home!

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What are you watching?

Bella, who is 17 months, yesterday watched what I call her first real 10 minutes of sitting still and watching a children’s cartoon. She has never really been a fan of TV and has watched a minute or two of Mister Maker, Teletubbies and Little Einsteins but has actually never been interested in watching for longer.

This hasn’t really bothered me at all as I read somewhere that children should not really be watching TV until the age of 2 but it got me thinking, do we create the little kids that plonk themselves in front of the TV and refuse to play outside? Please don’t misunderstand me, fully understand that sometimes when our time is limited, it is easier to get kids to watch TV while we run around doing things but is this actually beneficial in the long run? Are we setting ourselves up for a struggle later on? I used to be a Plonker when I was younger and remember all the fights I had with my mother to go and play outside but I found cartoons and the History Channel too interesting to do what she said. I think the only thing that helped to get me away from the TV was books and then I became a Bookworm!

I have also realised how influential we are in what our children watch and the important role we have as guardians over our children. I have two perfect examples of this. My first example is when I was 10 years old, a friend’s mother allowed us to watch a movie called The Blob which is a horror movie and has a PG rating of 18 which my mother would never have allowed. I had nightmares for days and I was terrified that something would come out of the drains and suck me into it and I would never return. My husband and I have made a rule that Bella will not watch anything that has a PG rating other than PG without us being there and should she go to a movie night at a friend’s house, we will first ask what they will be watching. Some things are too graphic for little children and as parents; I firmly believe that parents have to check up on what their children are watching! Do yourself and your child a favour watch some of these Ninja cartoons that are currently on TV without your child and you will notice that some of them are actually very violent!

My second example is the Teletubbies and this might seem very silly to you but please bear with me. Bella has watched a total of maybe 2 minutes of the Teletubbies program in her entire life but if you had to put the program on now, I am sure that she would know exactly who they were! This is because a friend gave us a Telly Tubby book and Bella and I often sit and read the book together. She can say “Elli Ubbies and Ubby Oast”, knows who Po is and if you ask her to get the book, she knows exactly which one it is. Another friend also lent us a Po doll and Bella knows that it is a Teletubbies and that it goes “Uh oh”! What I am getting at is that if I had not introduced her to the world of the Teletubbies, would she even have been interested in them? Are we as parents and society playing into the hands of the marketing people from these programs by encouraging our children to watch them and buying them all the goodies that comes with it? I believe we are and we are doing it subconsciously with no harm intended to the children, after all some of them are actually quite educational and helps them to learn like Little Einsteins. Like all things, it should just be done in moderation.

Most importantly, I believe that we have to watch what our children are watching, stay up to date with what is on air and help them to understand that not everything they see is real! We do after all own the remote!

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Don’t! Watch out! Be Careful!

Before having my child my vocabulary consisted of many words and sentences like “all night movie marathon”, “hangover”,  “reading till 13:00 in bed”, “stilettos”, “playing Wii all day”, “it’s 22:00 but let’s go out for dinner” and many more.

Since having my daughter, words and sentences that I now regularly repeat are “don’t”, “watch out”, “stop”, “be careful”, “slowly”, “are you going to do the bottles”, “ooh stinky poo”, ”time for a nappy change”, “no”, ”naughty”, ”uh-uh”, ”Mommy said no!”

I have realised that as babies get older, so does ones list of reprimands as you are trying to teach them to look after themselves and to set boundaries. Often the reprimands seem to out weight the praises and I realised this weekend that little people still need that positive affirmations even if they are little. Please don’t misunderstand me, I give my little girl a lot of praise and encouragement but I noticed that she tends to need it a bit more when she has learnt to do something. For example, we were in a shop yesterday and she took a necklace off of a rack. I told her “No, please put it back” to which she put it back and promptly took it off again and dropped it on the floor. So I changed tactics and said “Please show Mommy what a big girl you are and put it back on the rack and come and give me a hug!”  I don’t think I have ever seen her put something back so quickly and the hug I received made us both feel very special. Needless to say it then became a game but it didn’t bother me as her smiles made me see how she enjoyed it.

Better words to say!

Being a parent isn’t always sunshine and roses and can be a lot of hard work and sometimes reprimanding is easier than the praise. Sometimes we forget that objects and experiences are often new to them. Sometimes we need a reminder of how it feels to be in their size 4 shoes. Needless to say, my new goals are to change the way I speak when reprimanding her and to do it in a positive but firm manner. The most important goal will be to make sure that she hears more and more just how special she really is.

This she is!

Do you have any tips or things you find to help your child in a positive manner? Suggestions are always welcome! Drop me a mail or leave a comment!

Just the two of us!

Today my hubby and I went on a date day instead of date night. This is when my hubby and I leave my daughter with one of her sets of grandparents for a few hours and go and spend some quality time alone. You might call it something else like couples evening or Mommy and Daddy time.

Some people might say “How can you leave your daughter alone and go and have fun?” but I find it to be a very important thing to do with Hubby. We get to spend time outside of our normal environment and have supper or lunch in a restaurant without the other person going to the play are to check on Bella and eating individually. Sometimes we go and watch a movie together and share a big tub of popcorn and afterwards go window shopping in the Mall. It helps to reconnect us again and grow our relationship as a couple because this is what existed before Bella was born.  If we don’t look after each other on a couple bases as well, it will not be good for Bella as our relationship would deteriorate and eventually we would probably end in divorce. One only realises the importance of them when you haven’t been on date night for a while.

My problem is doing different things within our time frame? Going to the movie all the time can become boring and that’s not what I want our time alone to be! So the challenge is to find new things to do, go and discover as they say and find things adventurous things to do that aren’t going to break the bank! To go where we have never done before and to see things that will blow our minds within the confinements of our town and surrounding towns.

What do you and your partner to keep the spark alive, nothing sexual please but I would love to hear what you have to say?  Leave a comment and I’ll reply to all those that I get! If you aren’t doing a date night, why not start now, plan something simple and go for coffee first or go to the movies? You never know how much you might enjoy it!


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Please don’t stop the music!

Music has always played in a big role in my life and different songs have a way of reminding me of different stages in my life.

Roxette’s “It must have been love” was the first song that I ever slow- danced to with a boy in my class. When my first serious long-term boyfriend cheated on me just after high school, the song from Skunk Anansie “Hedonism (Just because it feels good)” always reminded me of him. When I hear the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge,  it always reminds me of my time in the UK when I had morning duties in the bar and would play Can Can Can full blast to motivate me to clean faster and not sit down for that hot cappuccino that was waiting for me to drink it. When I met my future hubby, the song was Ashley Simpson’s “Pieces of me” with The Parolotones “I’ll be there” as our wedding song and it brings back many memories. Kelly Rowland “Sand Castle” will always remind me of being pregnant with Bella as it was one of the only songs that I had on my phone and would play it for her while she was inside. It was also the song I sang to her just after labour and it calmed her down! You are my sunshine always reminds me of my close friends and my mother!

Moulin Rouge – love it!

This also made me think of the songs that I listened to as a child and it is only now that I have realised what I was actually singing back then and why my mother hated the words so much! Boys II Men was very popular especially “I’ll make love to you”. I used to walk around singing it at the top of my voice:

I’ll make love to you
Like you want me to
And I’ll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I’ll make love to you
When you want me to
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to

Salt and Pepper’s “I wanna have sex Baby” was just as popular as was Shaggy’s “Wasn’t Me” with the words being the following:

But she caught me on the counter (It wasn’t me)
Saw me kissin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me)
[another version: Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (It wasn’t me)]
I even had her in the shower (It wasn’t me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn’t me)

Bella loves all kinds of music and loves to dance whenever she hears music. She looks so cute putting her hands up in the air, stomping her feet and running around in circles. Her favourite song at the moment is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and she looooves the song “Dynamite “  from Taio Cruz This makes me wonder, what is Bella going to listen to when she is a teenager??? I love all kinds of music but I can’t stand that music where they scream into a microphone and it is labelled music! I have also noticed that more and more music is becoming sexually orientated. I understand that sex sells and you only have to turn the radio on to hear Rhiana singing about what is it actually teaching children out there? What exactly are they learning from it all? You only have to watch some reality TV programs to see how children have started dancing all provocatively to music where in the past they would not have had a clue what it was about.

Bella’s favourite song!

What can we as parents do? We can’t change the music industry but we can help our children to listen to good music that doesn’t contain a million swear words and be there for them when they have questions. The more we support them, the more they will feel comfortable talking to us about things and when the time comes for Bella to ask me what a song means, I will feel  relaxed about explaining about it. Until then I’ll keep signings at the top of my voice and encouraging Bella to sing as much as she can!

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It’s that time of the year again!

As winter starts to approach, my hands start to form this odd shape and seem to come together all the time. Yes, you guess it; I am a Knitter!

I have always been creative and have enjoyed making and decorating things like bead necklaces and candles with things inside them. While living in the UK, I used to get bored with watching t.v all the time and so decided to find something to create as well as keep me busy. Queue in the world of knitting and needle work!

Head band that I made Bella









I have made scarves (too many to count) and hats of all shapes and designs i.e. pixie hats with tassels as well but my real “inspiration” came when I found out I was pregnant with Bella. A new person to knit for and there are so many cute things out there for little girls!! So my search on Google started and I knitted a jersey, a pullover, Mary-Jane Booties and a pretty shrug for her  to wear! My poor little hands where like a T-Rex’s hands but they were completed!I do love to knit hats and have so many pretty designs that I am itching to try out but regretfully Bella doesn’t like things on her head! Oh well, I will have to find something else for her. I have also promised my hubby for the last 3 years that I will knit a jersey for him but he is so fussy so not sure which pattern to even start with for him.

Penguin to “Bedazzle” her plain top!








Let the search begin! If you know of a stunning pattern, do let me know! I will let you know how the item comes out! heehee

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Have you heard of Amber Teething Beads?

                                               Natural Relief of Baby Teething Symptoms

Have you heard of Amber Teething Beads? Amber is associated with sunlight and warmth. It is reputed to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing of wounds and thus as a natural analgesic is the perfect soother for babies and children when teething. Wearing Baltic amber close to the skin can help calm a baby without resorting to drugs.

Amber is not actually a stone therefore not cold to the touch. In reality it is fossilized tree resin from forests that were flooded by the sea millions of years ago .It is a very old custom for babies and children to wear amber in various parts of Europe and the Far East. Today we believe that the power to soothe pain attributed to amber properly lies in the fact that it creates an electromagnetic field which enhances the human frame of mind

Amber teething necklaces are suitable from about 3-4 months of age and the colour of the teething necklaces depends on the style and can be white, honey, butterscotch, cherry or a mix of colours and is polished stones.

Each necklace is approximately 32cm long and has a screw clasp. The screw clasp itself is a safety feature and is the weakest point of the necklace, and will break if undue strain is placed upon it. This is a design feature to protect against choking if the necklace is pulled  too hard. As an additional safety feature, there is a knot before and after each bead so that in the event of it being broken, there is no risk of choking on the beads. We recommend taking the necklace off whenever your baby will be without close supervision as the onus is on the parents to ensure their child’s safety.

Please contact  Marieta on 084 587 7292 or  to find out more about this amazing product at the affordable price of R170 per necklace.


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Are you packing?

When you are dieting, 10kg is a lot of weight to lose but when you are packing for a 17 month old child to go on an international trip, 10kg seems very little!! 10kg is what Bella was allowed to take as her check-in luggage for our trip to Dubai to visit my sister Jessica. I was not told what we would be doing as she had arranged our itinerary so I wasn’t even sure what clothes to pack!!!

Now to be honest, I am not the best packer in the world and have been known to throw things into a suitcase and just to go. My hubby refuses to allow me to back his bags as he says that it doesn’t come out looking the same on the other side! It’s not for a lack of trying; I just don’t have the patience to fold things in an immaculate way.

So it was left to me to pack Bella’s case as I would “know” what she would need! The basics are a no brainer but clothes? Whenever we go away people always tell us how hot it is and about the lovely weather they are having and then we get there and it starts to rain or gets cold! I have therefore learnt to pack everything but the kitchen sink for her but to fit it all into 10kg, I had to think carefully!  I packed her own brand of formula as she is on soya and I didn’t want to have to sit with her having stomach cramps from a new formula -1.8kg gone. Packed all her medicines like cough mixture, vapour rub, thermometer, fever medicine and teething gels as I can’t read Arabic and I don’t want to be running around for a pharmacy at 02:00 if she gets sick as I won’t know where to start looking! This happened to a friend in Tunisia when she got food poisoning and her boyfriend took 4 hours to find a pharmacy as all the people he spoke to could not speak English! Not for me thanks! That took another chunk out of the 10kg!!

I then had to pack her clothes but this took a while to decide on what to pack! Bella wanted to be part of the packing and everything I folded something; she would help by taking it out and plonking it on the floor! She missed the crucial part that I was actually folding! So to “include” her I got her another suitcase and gave her some clothes to pack into it and this kept her busy while I packed like Speedy Gonzales! Warm tops and jackets in case it was cold, shorts and leggings, costumes, sun block, t-shirts and some pretty dresses in case we went to something fancy.  As I didn’t know what we were going to do, I did it on instinct.

Needless to say, I managed to get her clothes suitcase packed and stowed away before she could start unpacking it and I worried about the weight! I didn’t have money to pay for overweight bags! Then I started on her toy bag and baby bag for the plane. This was going to be her first time flying on a plane and I did a lot of research on what to take for kids and how to keep them busy but this didn’t mean that it would work for her! I packed her baby bag as I would normally but put in extra nappies in case of delays or long queues at Customs. My sister had bought her nappies in Dubai so luckily I didn’t have to pack all her nappies and I must say this helped a lot! What would keep her busy on a plane in a confined space??? I packed all her favourite toys as well as lots of stickers as these entertain her quite well at the moment and she seems to enjoy them.

Once Bella’s suitcase and bags were done, it was onto my suitcases and anything that didn’t fit into Bella’s suitcase, came into mine. I could take 23kg and my suitcase weighed 3kg so I had to pack really carefully. Once all the bags were packed, I just had to wait till the flight as there was nothing else I could do! I have learnt a little trick and most of my family and friends think I am nuts, but it works really well! If you go to the airport really early and check in 3 hours instead of 2 hours as is the norm for international flights and be super friendly to the Ground Staff of the airline, they tend to look the other way when your suitcase is a little overweight. Get there later and they tend to be fussier and you either have to pay for the luggage or take it out! Needless to say, Bella’s suitcase weighed 9.3kg and mine, well mine was a whopping 14.5kg!!!! J This I can assure you would not be the case when I came home! What happened next? Well you will have to read the next blog to find out!

A review on the fab Oh-Lief products!

Oh-Lief in English means Oh Love and after using these products, it is love!


I used to be interested by natural products but since becoming a mom, I read every label and try to make sure that everything I use for Bella is as healthy as I can get it. Also as Bella has allergies, I have to be careful as to what I use on her.

I found Oh-Lief at a baby expo that I went to and it is fantastic with so many uses for it! Made by a mom and her sister using a family recipe and only natural products, these ladies have a winning formula. I have used the Oh-Lief Olive Baby Wax as lip balm for us both when our lips are chapped, used it when Bella has a case of eczema or dry skin and found that it made my skin softer and lovely without a sticky residue or any odors. It has even entertained Bella in the bank while we had to wait in the queue, and she rubbed it all over herself much to the delight of the people around us!







Oh-Lief also runs a program whereby moms can bring back their used tubs to be refilled at their store at The Old Biscuit Mill inWoodstockand only use local products to decrease their carbon footprint! If you are conscious of the environment as well as your little one, you can’t go wrong using their products!

This is their story:








Who are the ‘we’ in Oh-lief, Christine Buchanan, mother of young Liam, and Louiza Rademan, sister and proud aunt. We were brought up in a family that valued the principals of a green and organic life style and our love of all things natural has certainly influenced our decisions in establishing our Oh-lief brand. Christine could not find a skincare range for babies, or for her self when she was pregnant, that she felt confident enough to use. We then decided to develop our current family recipes in to a full baby range, based on 100% raw natural ingredients, and hence, Oh-lief was born. Our name originated from the main ingredient in the Oh-lief waxes, which is Olive oil. Oh-lief is a word -play on Olive and the ‘lief’ represent our love for nature and eco-friendly products.

And Moms haven’t been forgotten, have a look at their range for adults as well!

For more information on products and what is in their range, have a look at their  webstite for stockists or contact them at to get a price list and place an order!






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My car is gone and so are my wings!








My hubby has been away from home for two days. I was in a car accident with Bella the day day that he left and my other baby has been towed to be assessed and fixed. This means that I don’t have a car!

Talk about having your wings clipped! I have become so independent and just go when I want to go and do what I want to do that I am finding this to be quite frustrating. For example, my mom had to drive us girls around today to get all the tasks and shopping done before we go on our trip to Dubai next week.  I also have a very big sushi craving at the moment and all I can think of is those bite size salmon roses melting in my mouth and the salmon Californian rolls soaked in soya sauce! If I had a car and Bella wasn’t napping, I would have been at my local sushi place, which happens to be having a 50% off sale, so fast that you would think that my car is made by Batman.  I would drive safely of course!

If you are a stay at home mommy and don’t have transport, this could be just as frustrating as you have to rely on others for lifts and I know from personal experience that I started to feel bad about asking all the time and would eventually walk or just not go out. This in itself is also not a good thing! This brings me to the thought that in the town I stay, public transport isn’t very accessible unless you have the money to pay for a meter taxi to take you from point A to point B. You can take the bus between towns but this is often unreliable and with a kid with you, can be quite nerve racking.

So what can be done? Is there a way around this for stay at home moms?  The answer to my car problem will come hopefully on Monday or Tuesday as to what is going to become of my beloved Skille a.k.a my car. I hope its good news as I’m not sure how long I can do this for!



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